Maybe it's because I'm tired but I have just spent the last ten minutes sobbing my eyes out watching a video of Ashley Graham directing an empowering lingerie shoot. My queen for a long time, Ashley is to my mind, one of the most amazing role models, and she has now surpassed even my very high estimations of her. Teaming up with Glamour Magazine, a short film has been released of her directing a photoshoot of four women who are insecure about their bodies.
You. Need. To. Watch. This. Video.
Each woman comes into the studio and talks a little bit about the bits of their bodies that they are insecure about before de-robbing and taking part in a shoot directed by Ashley. At the end of the video she shows them each their photos, all the women look drop dead gorgeous and so damn happy.
I felt myself welling up early on but by the time Ashley and now-model Alyssa, who has suffered with anorexia, talked through her photos I was a full blown snotty mess. Alyssa said: "I still hate a lot of parts of my body. When I was the most anorexic it was ten years ago, but the way I see myself it doesn't really go away." Ashley, crying herself by this point said to her as the end : "I'm about to cry because I'm looking at you and I'm thinking about all the young girls out there who'll say 'if she can do it, I can do it.' (EXACTLY what I was thinking whilst I was crying too, she's so right.)
At the end of the video Ashely, still crying, still in her underwear gave the most glorious speech. If you're in the office and unable to watch the full video, this is what she said:
"People just think that body image and the body revolution is a trend and a 'fad', you guys, it's not! It goes from big girls to little girls, it goes from Spanish girls to black girls, it goes from white girls to young girls. It's everybody in between. And if we keep having this conversation, if we keep talking about the things that society has said are ugly or the things that we don't see in media, that is what is going to change.
That's how we make a statement, that's how we rule out all the things that are here right now and make a new normal. I really hope that this video impacts you in the way it did me because I'm supposed to be the host and I feel like I've had a changed day. I just want to thank the women that came into this video today because not only did you make an impact on your own life and everybody watching but clearly you made an impact on me so thank you."
Despite the fact that I spend SO much of my time campaigning for equality in this industry, this video seriously moved me. I looked at the photos of these women and I felt truly empowered. SO empowered in fact that I took my trousers off and am now working in my pants. It feels great and there is now way I would have done this had it not been for this video. This work is so important, THANK YOU Ashley Graham for being the absolute tits.
PS. The trousers thing: I'm self employed. If you're not, maybe not the best thing to do.